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The Vat and Bendigo...

Posted by on in The Upgrade
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So I have been doing the Nano brewery for a few years now, and started to think, this is hard work for batches of 80 litres.  And since the all grain brew cycle is pretty much the same if your doing 80 litres or 800, I'd rather be doing the latter.

Having decided that it was time to get a bigger brewery, I now had to figure out which route to take, buy a turn-key brewery (which is a super nice to have but the bank loan isn't as nice), or create one from scratch.

I have been to my fair share of breweries but didnt really have the confidence to build my own yet.  So I dwelled on this dilemna until I went to the Bendigo Beer festival 2013.  I got chatting with one of the guys from 7cent brewery and they were extremely helpful and enthusiastic. They had converted dairy equipment into a brewery and kept their costs low enough to be viable.  That gave me a shot of confidence and, after I saw the video "Frankenbrew" made by Tom Hennessy showing how others had created breweries on shoe string budgets using re-purposed dairy equipment, I had all the inspiration I needed.


 I trolled farm machinery sites, ebay, gumntree and many others.  Of course, I had started looking during a time when stainless prices were at a high and everyone was looking to make a dime out of secondhand vats.  Finally I got a lead on an 800 litre vat that was in Bendigo.  With the help of my best mate and another generous mate who donated a Falcon Ute dubbed "White Lightning" to the Brewery, we were on a mission.  We got to Bendigo without a hitch, the Vat was loaded and tied down.  My mate dropped me off in Melbourne and headed off to the home of the Brewery, Sale.  Thats when the drama started.  Not with the VAT, not the weather or even the rotation of the earth.  IT was with White Lightning.  The last hour of the trip had the car back firing and carrying on like a pork chop.  It eventually made it home, but, to top it off, my mate went home he got a speeding fine in the last 15 minute of the journey.
All is not lost for White Lightning though, it has received some care and new parts and is running like a beauty, ready for the next roadtrip...


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Guest Tuesday, 11 May 2021